Were You Arrested? Have You Been Criminally Charged?
Being charged with a criminal offence can be devastating for your career, family, personal well-being and even your freedom. The single most important decision you will make for your case and your life is contacting the right criminal defence lawyer. If you have been charged with a criminal offence, you need the best legal advice. Because your life depends on it. Our criminal defense legal team has years of experience defending criminal cases at all levels of court in British Columbia.
You’ve come to the right place for help.
Criminal offences in Canada fall into two main categories: summary conviction offences and indictable offences. And summary offences are less serious than indictable offences. Canadian law does not have misdemeanors and felonies.
So, how does it work? Well, a judge hears summary conviction cases in a provincial court. A person charged with a summary conviction offence is usually not arrested, unless the accused is found committing the offence. They are often given a notice to appear in court at a certain date and time. Does that sound like your situation?
A person charged with a summary conviction offence does not have to appear in court. An experienced criminal defence lawyer like Rob Dhanu or an agent may appear in court on that person’s behalf, unless the judge asks the person charged to appear.
An indictable offence is more serious. And there are different procedures for indictable offences. The procedure that applies to your situation is going to depend on how serious the offence is and choices made by the prosecutor and the accused person (you).
Will a person charged with an indictable offence get arrested? The short answer is, yes. A person charged with an indictable offence will be arrested when the police have reasonable grounds to believe that the person has committed an indictable offence or is about to commit an indictable offence.
A person charged with an indictable offence must show up in court. He or she may represent him or herself or be represented by an experienced criminal defence lawyer, such as Rob Dhanu (who is also a former Crown Prosecutor, so he knows how the prosecution works).
You may also hear about a hybrid offence. A hybrid offence is an offence where the prosecutor can choose, based on factors such as the seriousness of the accused’s actions and the harm caused, to proceed with the offence as either a summary conviction offence or as an indictable offence.
"The single most important decision you will make for your criminal case and your life is contacting the right criminal defence lawyer when you are facing criminal charges."